Private security contractor G4S had planned to set up an asylum centre for refugees in the small town of Loftus in East Yorkshire. However, the residents of the town were not happy when they discovered that their community would be home to asylum seekers.
During a heated meeting at the town hall, the local council and residents were able to defeat the plans to establish a migrant centre for an undisclosed number of migrants. The argument put forth by the residents was that the town did not offer any services or resources for newcomers, and therefore it was not the best location for a migrant asylum centre.
The town’s residents stated that while they were not against helping people, the town did not have the facilities or resources to offer to migrants.
One local pointed out that with no bus service and police cover, Loftus would not be able to provide anything to asylum seekers. The same local added that if and when investments come into Loftus, the town would have better facilities, and it is then that it would be ready to accept asylum seekers.
Councillor Mary Lanigan was angry that the council had not revealed the private security contractor’s plan earlier, and she completely agreed with the residents’ argument. Lanigan, who represents Loftus ward, pointed out that the town had welcomed refugees in the past. However, with no infrastructure and with the asylum seekers being unable to work, the town did not have the means to support them.
G4S is under pressure to spread asylum seekers across the country. However, after the town hall meeting, the private security contractor along with Redcar and Cleveland Council and Cleveland Police decided to drop the plans to house asylum seekers in Loftus.